Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Part 1 Food Storage & Preps by Jäger
My good friend Jäger has put togeather some good practical and useful information on food storage and preparedness . Im sure yu will find it useful and perhaps learn a thing or two.
Tomahawk - stocking up!
Food Storage & Other Preps;
I was going to post this in a reply to Koa's thread " Poll: How much food do you need to store? " http://www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/sh...highlight=food But as this post got longer I decided to make it it's own thread as this turned into more of a overview on food storage and other preps, and after I read the fine responses in Koa's thread I figured there were a few points that I could try and expand further on.
Just as a bit of an overview, I have been doing this, what some would call preparation, readiness, some even like to give it the survivalist type word for a number of years. Because of the stupid negative connotations some people have put on that word and the line of work that I'm in I try and stay away from that label, but only for those reasons. In some of my other posts I've given a glimpse of some of preps that I have taken. I have been in and also formed two different preparation groups (PrepGrp) or you could call it a readiness group.
There are a number of positive aspects to this, you are able to have assistance if say your car breaks down, need help moving out that old refrigerator for a new one, or you are in need of some help to help hump out an elk from the back-country, just think of all the times friends have helped you out, so the list is endless. You may have close friends that will help you out just the way our group helps out each other, but we have another pact, and that is to help out each other in a SHTF type of event, further our group has food storage and other key logistical items to last all of us a set time which I won't publicize for opsec (operational security) reasons. But I'm getting off topic and the "group" subject could be a completely different post.
I will try and put out good information while maintaining good opsec practices. So here is an basic view of how I see the way that one can prepare on a budget and have a massive amount of food put away along with other preps. When you are saving money in one area you are able to put that money into other items.
First thing I will start off with is food items with the main one I will cover being wheat;
I store a number of different food items but the major one I will cover due to its extreme versatility is hard wheat be it either red or white and or winter, i.e. hard red winter wheat. There are a number of reasons for storing this item. When properly stored it has a very long shelf life, depending on who one talks to, they will state 30 to 50 years or even indefinite. Wheat that was found in the pyramids was over 3000 years old, still sprouted and it was not stored in the fashion that I will detail.
Wheat can not only be ground into flour to make bread and other food items that one makes from flour, but it can be soaked overnight and then used as a food item as in wheat berry cereal or put into soups to thicken them. Wheat can be made into other various food items as in a substitute for protein (gluten) and a milk substitute as in oat milk. Wheat can also be cracked and made into cereal and only takes about 15 minutes to make. This book, Passport to Survival;
http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Survi...f=pd_rhf_p_t_1 has many different recipes for preparing different types of wheat based meals and using wheat as a substitute for different meals.
The next way that one can use wheat to produce food is pretty cool and while some of you are probably aware of this I will go over the benefits of sprouting. Sprouting wheat or any type of seed will produce a greater amount of food then what you started with, I've sprouted grains but I have not done a weight test, but from what I have read, 1 pound of wheat will produce anywhere from 8 to 10 to 14 pounds of sprouted wheat.
There are a number of food items that you can make with sprouted wheat and the above mentioned book goes over the how, why and what to make with sprouts, this is just one of the books that I would recommend for reference as there are a number of food/prep books that deal with this subject. Lets say as an example one has a good one year supply of wheat. So if one were to sprout that along with using it as ground flour and wheat berries one could extend that one year supply to say four to five years, that's one of the things sprouting will do for you, along with the fact that by sprouting the grains, you will increase the vitamin, mineral and protein content, not to mention the fiber that is in wheat be it either whole, ground, cracked or sprouted.
As a math example for above, lets say you have 400 pounds of wheat and you gain 8 pounds of spouts out of 1 pound of wheat, so 400 pounds of wheat times 8 equals 3200 pounds of sprouts! I am showing this an example of the amount of food you can get from sprouting and I am not saying that you should eat only sprouts. One thing that you can make from spouts is a type of nutritious cereal. Take a few cups of sprouts, grind them up in a blender and then cook them with a little water, and salt and it makes a type of oatmeal cereal. You can also use a thermos to cook with which save energy in the process, as detailed in this link; http://www.kurtsaxon.com/foods002.htm
So we have a number of benefits with wheat storage, we have a product that when properly stored will store along time, it can produce many different types of meals and it can produce more food then you bought. The next item that is great about wheat is the cost, even though it's been going up in price you can still get 50 pounds of hard red winter wheat for around $22 to $24 dollars, I've gotten it in years past for as little as $9 to $10 dollars for a 50 pound bag. So lets do the math, for one person to get around 400 pounds for a year, even at $24 for a 50 pound bag, that's $96 dollars for 400 pounds of wheat, that will store, depending on who you are talking to, darn near a lifetime. Pretty cool huh?
So now, how to store this wheat;
Well there are a number of proven ways to store wheat. I will go over some very basic ways to do it to keep it simple and cheap. You can either use 5 gallon food grade storage buckets with mylar bags. Here is a link that will detail the method; http://www.squidoo.com/MylarBags If you plan on using this method I would shop around for mylar bags, oxygen absorber and buckets, I used this site because of the pictures and simple steps it shows, as I don't know if their pricing is good or not. Also I've found food grade buckets with lids at bakeries for the asking, you just have to wash them out.
I have wheat and other food stored in this manner and I also use another technique that I came up with that I am able to store larger amounts of wheat or other food items such as rice and beans. I take a 68 litter plastic storage container that I can buy at a local box store for $3.99, I then use 4 large non treated garbage bags (some are treated with a anti pest chemical) put together 1 inside each other 4 thick.
I then line the plastic container with the 4 thick garbage bags. I then am able to put in two 50 pound bags of wheat still in the bag. I then put in 4 oxygen absorbers by making a small cut in each bag and put two absorbers into each bag and then tape the cut shut. I then use a small vacuum cleaner to suck out as much air as possible from each garbage bag. I then tie off the first bag, then the second, then third and finally the forth. I then place the lid on top, tape it shut and date label it. If I need to move them around or for some reason load them up in a vehicle, I use a two wheel dolly to move them. I have also used dry ice in place of oxygen absorbers, both are appropriate and by doing a google search you can find directions for both methods with pictures, I always seem to work better with pictures.